July 2023 Showcase - Colored Pencil Artwork

July 2023 Showcase - Colored Pencil Artwork

The three artists featured in the July 2023 issue of COLOR Magazine Showcase – Dava Dahlgran, Vivek Prabhu, and Simone de Moraes – share the stories behind their beautiful artwork here in our blog. 

Metamorphosis by Dava Dahlgran
11 x 14 inches
Prismacolor, Polychromos, Lyra, Pablo, Luminance, Derwent Lightfast on Canson Dry Mixed Media Sand Grain Grey.
(Artist's own photo)

One of my studio partners modeled for me in this quilt, which she created. I loved the various color waves throughout the different parts of the quilt. The waves seemed to be in transition between moods. During our photo session I asked her for different expressions as we changed the part of the quilt that was visible in each shot. Her natural expression is a smile so getting anything other than the smile meant that the expression only lasted for a moment, and I had to work fast to capture it. This is one piece in a planned series from those reference photos. The quilt is beautiful, and so is the heart of my willing model, friend, and fellow artist.

The unfinished parts of the drawing are the result of one of those unplanned magic moments an artist is happy to experience. I walked away at the end of the day with the hair and faces only partially finished. When I returned it struck me that the story was much stronger if they were left unfinished. Serendipity or just plain dumb luck? I don’t know, but it has inspired a new way of thinking about my next body of work.

About Dava Dahlgran:

Dava Dahlgran CPSA, CPX, studied commercial art and over time was employed in an art department, a commercial print shop, as a photographer in a crime laboratory, and as picture framer/gallery sales staff. Dava now enjoys the luxury of working for herself in a studio shared with other artists. Her work has been accepted in juried shows and galleries.


Barn Vivek Prabhu
24.3 x 11.6 inches
Faber-Castell Polychromos, Derwent Lightfast on Canson white 300gsm.
Drawn from life.

My inspiration to draw this still life in colored pencils happened when I was doing some rough sketches of a hen going broody to hatch some of her eggs. I realized how still she was sitting on the eggs during the entire process of sketching. It was then it struck me that I can add life to a still life drawing. I decided to add some still life objects around the brooding hen sketch that I was making. I took me awhile to decide which objects were to make up for a barn. Finally, I finished the sketch by adding a sack filled with animal feed, an old milk vessel and a small copper utensil.

Having drawn the image onto the support, I spent many hours slowly building up the colors, layer upon layer, thus getting the final result which is titled “Barn.”

About Vivek Prabhu:


Vivek Prabhu lives in Mysore, India and enjoys creating artwork in a variety of art mediums, but colored pencils have been his preference since 2018. He achieved his Signature status with the UKCPS in 2021.

See more at: facebook.com/whisperingcolors.

Bolacha by Simone de Moraes
12 x 9 inches
Derwent Lightfast and Polychromos on Strathmore Bristol Vellum.
Photo by Gabriela Stampacchio. Used with permission.

This is the portrait of Bolacha in her pink setting, in the way her tutor Gaby commissioned me to paint.

“Bolacha” is the name of the dog and it means cookie. Cookie is a sweet dog who was adopted and had many health challenges to overcome. But with all the care and love from her tutors, today she is a joy in the house.

For this portrait I had some challenges because the reference photo did not have an important element to be placed, which was the collar with her name and also had shadows that did not allow me to see the dog’s face so well.

This commission was made to celebrate their happiness and I feel very honored and happy to be part of this story with my work.

About Simone de Moraes:

Simone de Moraes is a Brazilian visual artist and illustrator. Using the most different colored pencil techniques, she creates out original artworks and commissions expressing the textures, shapes, and colors of what she observes. Her works have been published in specialized magazines. She’s a member of the CPSA and teaches colored pencil classes.

See more at: www.simonedemoraes.com

These artworks were published in the July 2023 issue of COLOR Magazine.

Download the digital version of the magazine for just $4.99, or subscribe and save 15%. Each issue is packed with step by step projects, critiques, colored pencil tips, artist profiles and much more.

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